Education Minister Adamu Adamu said on Tuesday that the federal government could only afford a 23.5% pay rise for university professors, while professors would enjoy a 35% pay rise.
The minister also pointed out that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retired), had warned against signing agreements that the government could not honor.
Adamu revealed this during a meeting he had with vice chancellors and other stakeholders in the university system in Abuja.
The minister noted that the government informed ASUU, “That the federal government can afford only a 23.5% salary increase for all categories of staff at federal universities, with the exception of cadres of professors, who will receive an upward revision of will enjoy 35%”.
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Effective immediately, assignments corresponding to ad hoc functions of academic and non-academic staff (members) will, to the extent and at the time of the equivalent, be remunerated by the higher education councils of the universities for which such services are rendered and the staff members who they carry out.
“That the 2023 budget earmarks a sum of N150 billion as funds for the revitalization of the federal universities, to be paid out to the institutions in the first quarter of the year, and that the 2023 budget earmarks N50 billion for the payment of the outstanding areas envisaged are the earned academic allowances to be paid out in the first quarter of the year.”
At the end of the meeting, Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria Professor Peter Okebukola said that the government is ready to do everything possible to ensure that university professors receive their resume work.
Meanwhile, a 14-member committee set up by the minister as part of efforts to end the ongoing strike began meeting at the National University Commission on Monday, The PUNCH learns.
Committee members are expected to coordinate Professor Emeritus Nimi-Briggs’ recommendations with federal government proposals.
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Education ministry spokesman Ben Goong told The PUNCH: “A committee of 14 people has been set up and the committee is headed by the minister
There are plans to harmonize the Nimi-Briggs report, the ASUU position and the federal government’s proposals. The committee has begun meeting as we speak; they submit their report to the President before informing ASUU.
“The draft treaty was critically examined and the proposed wage increase was deemed unrealistic and not in line with the current realities of the national economy,” he said.
Goong added: “Committee members include Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors, among others.
It has the vice chancellors of the University of Ibadan, Ahmadu Bello University, Nsukka University of Nigeria and the University of Benin. “Others are Professor Nimi-Briggs, Professor Olu Obafemi, Udo Udoma, Bashir Dalhatu; the executive secretary of NUC, registrar of JAMB, representatives of the Academy of Letters, Sciences, Medicine and Social Sciences.
When contacted, ASUU national president Professor Emmanuel Osodeke told The PUNCH that the union would await official correspondence from the government. .